"Not now-" she pulled out her sword, twisting slightly and allowing her momentum to carry it into the target, "Training."
"Hey." Xander looked mildly affronted.
"If we're gonna run this ship, we gotta do it properly." Faith pulled the sword back before ramming it straight into the heart of the thing. "And that means no more filth from you Mr Harris."
"Thank you Princess Primalot."
"Whatever King of Filth." She gave him the dirtiest look he could ever imagine and Xander Harris suddenly blushed like a thirteen year old boy. He hurriedly composed himself. "You are not helping. Never helping." He glared at her pointedly.
"At least I'm trying."
"That you are Missy."
"We got any word on Giles?" She grabbed a cloth and wrapped it around the blade. There was something inside her that just loved a blade. It was part of you. Didn't feel like she was fighting with a weapon. Felt like she was the weapon.
"No," he said, still light, matching her conversational tone. He knew though that inside it was hurting her. Hurt him too but he'd never tell her that. He'd hold her until the morning light and keep her safe. Always. "The track –the Wiccans – they're struggling to pick him up."
"Our boy's gone off the grid." She pressed her lips together briefly, inhaling and then let herself relax. "I guess he'll show when he wants to be found." She just wished he'd trusted her enough to talk about it.
Xander nodded. "He will," he said, tones full of confidence, "I mean, it's Giles. Giles. But if he comes back with a leather jacket and a motorcycle, I will have a word."
Faith paused and stared at the wall. "I miss him," she said suddenly, so suddenly she surprised herself, "I just think – god – what would Giles do? And then I think to ask him – and he's not there."
"He's your Yoda." The conclusion was clear to a dyed in the wool nerd such as himself.
"Shit." Realisation dawned. "So he is."
"Hrurummm," said Xander. He couldn't stop himself. It was like a nervous tic. He considered though that, as he was desperately tempted to make some sort of joke about Giles being small green and hairy, a Yoda impression was a small price to pay. She smiled at him and he took her hand. "Ready to announce it to the troops?"
"Yeah," said Faith, "Yeah."
The two of them entered the operations room, already packed out with girls. Some were talking, others huddled over screens, and in the back corner Xander could see his Wiccans knitting together strands of magick in the air. "Hey," he said, tapping quietly on the nearest console, "Ladies?"
The room fell silent. It was practically instant. It spoke, thought Faith, of the respect that the world had for her guy. God he was good. She'd not tell him that though. No need. It would deprive her of many hours of amusement. No Sir. Shit. She stopped thinking and realised he was talking already. It was probably appropriate that she paid attention at this point.
-"-a leave of absence. Until that point, Faith and I will be running the base. We're working out the basics. But yeah. We're in charge. I mean, in a non-judgemental power for the sisters kind of manner. You like it, you stay. You don't, that's cool. It's all cool."
Faith nodded. "One for all and all for one," she said.
"Like Muskehounds," said Xander, "But I get that that's maybe a little left-field."
"Not for me." One of the girls, slim, scrawny even, stuck her hand up and grinned toothily at him. "My pop brought me up on the retro cartoons."
"Oh you totally get to go to the top of the class."
Faith nodded and then very serenely picked up her sword and brandished it at the girls. "Training starts now," she said. She balanced lightly on her feet, adopting a posture that Giles would have been proud of. She would do him proud. She would do them all proud. Because she was good at what she did. She would give these girls everything and she would make them live.
Xander glanced at Faith and then back at the Slayers. "Well," he said, "You heard the lady." And just because he could, just because he was going to marry this amazing woman at his side and his life finally felt like it was all coming together, he said something he had been dying to say for quite a long time. "Slayers? Roll out."